The eight-episode show sees Japanese organising consultant and author Marie help those “who are at a crossroads, but willing to tackle the clutter holding them back”. And if this isn’t the most wholesome show you’ve ever seen, then we don’t know what is.
Instead of organising by location, Marie – who has written several bestselling books dedicated to the cause – chooses to help her clients reorganise their homes (and by extension, their lives) by sorting in categories first, looking at clothing and books before moving on to paper documents and finally komono, which means “miscellaneous” in Japanese. She works in this order through each individual room, before looking at the sentimental items last. The purpose of Marie’s presence is simple: to make regular people feel happy in their own homes.
“My mission is to spark joy through tidying,” says Maire. And much like Netflix’s other breakout show Queer Eye, there’s much more to these people than just mess. There’s Margie, whose husband died and she just can’t seem to part with his belongings; and Katrina and Douglas, who were forced to downsize to a two-bed apartment in LA with their two kids after moving from their four-bedroom home in Michigan.
None of the people who take part in the series are hoarders, but rather regular people, ranging from newlyweds to new parents to empty nesters. They aren’t people with mental health problems or whose homes are unsanitary. They are simply adults who are short on time, or money, and who need a bit of helping hand. Marie is there to do just that – she has no biting commentary and she doesn’t care about how their homes are decorated. She just gives them the skills to find the joy in decluttering, to think about what items are just stuff and what items actually mean something. Then, she gives her clients an adorable gasp of approval when they’ve done a good job.
The aim is to get people to connect with the things they own. In episode eight, ‘When Two (Messes) Become One,’ Marie is working with Alishia, who finds a dress that her late grandmother bought her years ago. Alishia says that the dress no longer fits her, but she doesn’t know what to do, because the dress brings up happy memories for her. “The point of this process isn’t to force yourself to eliminate things,” Marie says. “It’s really to confirm how you feel about each and every item you possess.” Ultimately, Alishia lets go of the dress, knowing someone else would probably enjoy it more.
This wholesomeness is something viewers are really loving about the newly released show. The message is essentially to be yourself. Marie is there to help her clients, not change them. As such, people are praising her positive energy, and some are even saying the show is giving them Bob Ross levels of calm: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix is SO SOOTHING,” one Twitter user wrote, while another added: “#TidyingUp on Netflix is so positive and calm”.
So, if you fancy trying a different version of self-care this year, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is available to watch now on Netflix – get ready to take notes.